The New Brunswick company uses artificial intelligence to help machines manage large amounts of data and improve their productivity. When CEO Scott Everett was nominated for the Manning Award for Innovation in June, he told Entrevestor that he was aggressively courting leading customers in the automotive sector and searching for capital.
He has now drawn investment from Globalive, BDC Capital’s Women in Technology Venture Fund, New Brunswick Innovation Fund, Opportunities New Brunswick, and several New Brunswick angels. A statement from the company said the angels accounted for more than $1 million of investment.
“They have a very interesting product in an AI-enabled platform now targeted at the automotive industry,” Michelle Scarborough, BDC Capital’s Managing Director of Strategic Investments, said in an interview. “It’s an industry where there is complete disruption happening . . . [and Eigen has] excellent validation with some early wins.”
She added that the company qualified for the Women in Technology fund – a $200 million fund that federal government launched to encourage female-led businesses – because its management team includes Vice-President of Business Strategy Erin Barrett.
“They’ve got a good management team with a very good woman in management in Erin,” said Scarborough. “We don’t just look for female founders and CEOs. We also look at women in senior leadership positions who are dynamic and driving their companies, and Erin is certainly that in spades.”
The lead investor, publicly listed Globalive, is a technology investment company that specializes in blockchain and artificial intelligence. It has helped to launch six different companies, and has made investments in 45 other enterprises.
“We are impressed with Eigen’s growth to-date and its expanding business with some of the most prominent brands in automotive manufacturing,” said Globalive Founder and CEO Anthony Lacavera in the statement.
“With a strong leadership team in place and a proven and innovative AI solution, we believe the company is poised for further growth with industrial manufacturers in Canada and around the globe.”
The Eigen funding takes place as New Brunswick startups are enjoying a record year in equity funding. Entrevestor has reported on almost $40 million in equity investments already in 2018 – four times the province’s total for all of 2017.
Eigen in the past few years has established itself as one of the leading Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, companies in the region. The company began at the University of New Brunswick when a team of researchers began working on algorithms that could help manufacturers improve production efficiency and reduce waste. They were working under the guidance of professor and co-founder Rickey Dubay, who still sits on the company’s board.
In late 2015, Eigen placed third at the Cisco Grand Innovation Challenge in Dubai, and shortly afterward raised $1.4 million in funding, with investors including BDC Capital, NBIF and East Valley Ventures. In 2016, the company entered the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto, becoming one of the companies to graduate from the program.
“We’re thankful for the renewed support from NBIF and BDC Capital, and thrilled to have Globalive Technology be a significant part of our journey,” said Barrett in the statement. “We are also proud to receive investment from the Women in Technology Venture Fund, [which] is helping pave the way for female leaders and founders that want to create new ventures.”